Relationships, fulfilling work, exercising, gratitude- all these are some of the common things that contribute to your happiness.
But sometimes the little things make the biggest difference. There are some tiny unnoticeable things we do that spark joy – without us even noticing it. These things are the granola to your breakfast parfaits and garlic to your curries.
What I’m saying is, they’re super easy to apply and super healthy to use!
A total win-win, right?
1. Self-love Or Selfless-giving
What do you do when you feel sad or upset? Do you preach self-love and buy yourself something fancy?
Maybe you binge on a potato chips packet until you’re elbow deep into it. Maybe you binge on something else, like Netflix and finish out 28 one hour episodes in 5 days (Yup, not guilty of doing that, at all).
Whatever you do, you spend some money on yourself to make yourself feel better. And I’m all in for it. You need to allow yourself to relax and enjoy sometimes – it shows you love yourself.
Unless it becomes a habit and starts hurting your health. Self-love is all good and necessary until it reaches to the point that you become obese and unproductive.
So, the next time you feel disheartened, maybe you could try spreading some love instead of keeping it just for yourself. Share those potato chips and become obese together!
No, just kidding. Share some broccoli.
In a recent experiment, participants were divided into two groups and given equal amount of money. One group was asked to spend it on themselves and others were asked to spend it on someone they know.
And what do you know? Generosity and happiness have a neural link.
The people who had committed to spend this money on someone else were found to be more happier. Not just happy in the moment, but their overall long term well being was also improved.
I’m not asking you to buy a diamond ring for your mother and drums for your friend. Something as simple as buying flowers for your spouse is also a sign of giving.
Or go to your parents and make them dinner. Buy your friend a book he’s wanting since long. Donate to a street musician. Listen to him for a while. Smile at your neighbor. Ask your mailman how he’s doing.
You see? Money is not important at all. The important thing is time, effort, attention and most of all, a little love.
The next time you think the best way to make yourself feel better is to buy yourself a treat, consider the opposite. It’s worth a shot – making someone smile.
2. Slip On Dusty Photo Albums
How about you spend the dull days swapping through those photo albums?
Do you remember playing teacher with 50 imaginary students? Do you know you ate flour raw as a toddler? And see, it’s your graduation day. Everyone looks so happy bumping into the real world – which sucks, but we’re gonna love it anyway!
It’s bittersweet, I know. You remember happy times which kinda make you sad it’s over but happier that it happened, you all know what I’m saying?
It’s obvious, isn’t it? You hop on a roller-coaster, travel back in time and when you’re on your ride back, you see how far you’ve come.
Seeing this assures you that you can make it ahead as well. It makes you look positively at your future with confidence. You believe you’re worthy and capable of having an optimistic destiny.
Clear off the dust from the album shelf and jump inside the roller-coaster ride. Remember those stories you created. Look how dreamy it all looks.
Can’t find photo albums?
No problem. Pick up your phone and dial to your oldest friend. Talk about that class you bunked to create the memories you remember. Laugh at how stupid you were.
If you cannot find your oldest friend on Facebook and Instagram, don’t worry. You created a personal diary! Maybe you were not regular but I know you’ve all begun sometime.
So read it again and travel back with words. It’s like looking at a word photo album. And it smells like an old friend.
This feeling is a “Dear Diary” moment.
I think women belong in the kitchen. Even men belong in the kitchen. Everyone belongs in the kitchen. Kitchen has food.
Now, I know this for sure; food makes everyone happy. The smell of a slice of pizza ringing on your doorbell jumps up your dopamine pleasure buttons and makes your head swirl in that beautiful mozzarella cheese.
I know your mouth is watering…
But I said before that this list is going to be healthy! And it is. So the delivery boy came to the wrong house.
But worry not, because I still have something that’s gonna make you happy.
FRUIT! And a vegetable salad.
A study done in Britain on over 80,000 people has proven that people who consume fruits and vegetables daily have a higher likelihood of life satisfaction and happiness.
But what about how tasty a pizza is?
The oily and greasy stuff may gratify your tongue for the time being, but junk food actually hampers your physical health and mental mood in the long-term.
What you seek is happiness, what you get is pleasure.
So what foods make you happy? Fruits that contain vitamin C, baby! It releases dopamine too. And what has Vitamin C? Fruits!
Also other nutrients contained in veggies and other fruits, like calcium, chromium and iron promote happiness.
Not convinced yet?
Healthy people are on an average 20% happier than pizza eaters. A whopping 20%!
You don’t want to miss out on that, do you?
4. Get That Vacuum Cleaner, Now!
I know I’m not your mom and you’ve moved away and you’re so grown up and a messy desk is a sign of creativity, but whatever.
Stop with the excuses already. You’re social animals, not wildlife animals. The jungle of your hair clogged in the bathroom or the smelly pillowcases or the heap of useless papers is not adaptable for you.
This clutter and mess is going to increase cortisol in your brain. You know what cortisol is, it’s a stress hormone, you fool.
And you’re going to catch a disease if you don’t take the trash out soon. And trust me, I know most of the trash is lying on the empty side of your bed.
I know you’re going to say you’re stressed because of work and busy. But hey, Scottish Health Survey has found that doing housework can reduce that – by 20%.
But are you so stressed that you cannot even sleep properly? Then make your bed child! It makes you 19% more likely to have a better quality of sleep.
Clear the clutter in your household to clear the clutter in your brains, kiddo.
Enough sounding like a mathematical mom.
5. Have A Genuine Interaction With A Stranger
I know I just scolded you to clean like your mother then I’m telling you to indulge with strangers.
I’m an unique mother.
Forget what your parents have taught you about never, ever interacting with a stranger. Become a grown-up and know when someone is offering candy to hit on you or to kidnap you.
If you count the number of unfamiliar faces you come across in a day, you’d run out of fingers. Can you even describe your mailman’s face to the police? Do you know if the Uber driver that came to pick you is the same from the picture that comes on his profile? How many neighbor’s names do you know?
You see a familiar face on bus every day and you know his stop but not his name. You never even tried to pass a smile.
I know you love your solitude and you don’t care about people. But just sometimes, strike up a conversation. People (named research) say it makes you happier.
Social animals, not wildlife animals, remember?
The next time, talk to your neighbor. Ask what he does for a living. Or talk to your barista. Know where he is from. Or your cab driver. He might know an interesting place. Or the guy you see on the subway everyday. He might share a few hobbies.
Put the damn phone down and have real conversations.
If you’re upset or having a rough time, start to declutter the mess. Take out your vacuum cleaner. And now you’ve come across that old photo album, take a moment to visit it.
I know you’re hungry after all this cleaning. Don’t order a pizza, grab a fruit.
If you’re still gloomy, buy me a beer. Maybe we could have a genuine conversation too.